Never Sleep: the story of a lady Pinkerton


I have a new series coming out, and I wanted you all to be the first to know about it!

Chronicles of a Lady Detective

The series is centered upon a character many of you know from the Concordia Wells mysteries: Penelope Hamilton. You may recall that she served as lady principal of Hartford Women’s College in book 1 (Dangerous and Unseemly), and recently made a return in book 3 (Unseemly Ambition) to help with a difficult case.

Readers have long told me that they enjoy Miss Hamilton’s character and would like to see more of her, so I decided to go backwards in time and explore her early detective cases.

cover art by Melinda VanLone
cover art by Melinda VanLone

Never Sleep, set in 1885 (more than a decade before Concordia meets her), is the story of how Miss Hamilton first gets started as a Pinkerton in her own right. Each of the stories in the series will be novelette-length and published in ebook form only (for now).

Historical Background:

Although a rarity in the 19th century, women working as Pinkertons wasn’t without precedent. The first and most noteworthy was Kate Warne in 1856. According to Allan Pinkerton, the young widow walked into the Chicago office and asked straight away for a position as a detective, rather than requesting a clerical job. Her argument pointing out the unique qualifications of women as detectives persuaded Pinkerton to hire her, and to later put her in charge of Pinkerton’s “Female Detective Force.”

Allan Pinkerton (seated, right) at Antietam. The beardless man is thought to be Kate Warne in disguise. Image via Library of Congress, n.d.
Allan Pinkerton (seated, right) at Antietam. The clean-shaven man is thought to be Kate Warne in disguise. Image via Library of Congress, n.d.

Warne was quite successful as a detective. She acted as an intelligence operative before, during, and after the Civil War, and was instrumental in uncovering the “Baltimore Plot” to assassinate Lincoln on the way to his inauguration. She relayed key information and was part of the group that helped protect the President-elect during this time, as he traveled by train (a different one than announced earlier) between Harrisburg and Baltimore, in disguise.

Excerpt from Pinkerton's report, published in Norma Cuthbert's 1949 book: Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot, 1861.
Excerpt from Pinkerton’s report mentioning Kate Warne. Published in Norma Cuthbert’s 1949 book: Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot, 1861.

My gift to you:

I wanted to find a way to say “thank you” to everyone who reads my books and follows my posts. Your support means so much to me! Where would I be without my readers? So, during the month of March, I’m giving away Never Sleep to every subscriber. And this is exclusive access; I won’t be putting it up on Amazon or anywhere else until April. 

How to get Never SleepThe story will be available for download as a mobi (Kindle) and epub (iPad, Nook) on a password-protected page here at the website. Current subscribers will get an email newsletter tomorrow (didn’t want to send you guys two email notifications in one day) with the page link and a password. Future subscribers (during the month of March) will receive the same email newsletter with the link and password when they confirm their subscription.

If you have any difficulties getting it, drop me a line: and I’ll directly email you the file.

Thanks again!


6 people like this post.

12 thoughts on “Never Sleep: the story of a lady Pinkerton”

  1. Lisa BrownLisa Brown

    Oh, great, can’t wait…thank you!

  2. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    Sounds wonderful Kathy! I tweeted and I’m sure it will be a great success. 🙂

  3. PatriciaPatricia

    Oh, I’m super excited about the book!! Gimme, gimme, gimme. Now doesn’t that sound bratty? I mean, please may I have a copy?

    I’m very excited about Penelope’s adventures.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. Sharla RaeSharla Rae

    As usual, a great blog. Loved the info and your books sound darn right fun.

  5. Gloria RichardGloria Richard

    K.B.! I’ve been off the social media loop for months. My inbox this morning? Four hundred plus unread. Would you believe I’ve been doing undercover work for the CIA?


    Very astute, my dear. BONUS! I have the sequels to Dangerous & Unseemly PLUS a freebie to read now that I’ve rejoined the world.

    In case you’re wondering; I’m well. As well as I can be having spent too many hours and days knocking around in my own noodle noggin. I’m over that now. Phew!

    KUDOS on your publications. I can’t wait to catch up.

  6. RachelfunkhellerRachelfunkheller

    Congratulations on giving us more about Miss Hamilton, she is a great character. So happy for you.


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